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NRL preview panel - grand final day



NRL: Sydney Roosters v Canberra Raiders at ANZ Stadium, 7.30pm

Head to Head: Roosters 34, Raiders 28

Last clash: Round 21, 2019 - Roosters 22 bt Raiders 18 at GIO Stadium

The Roosters are the defending premiers and the bookmakers' favourites.

They boast the reigning Dally M medallist in James Tedesco, retiring champion halfback Cooper Cronk, and Kangaroos and NSW skipper Boyd Cordner. There are question marks surrounding the fitness of co-captain Jake Friend, who has played just five games this season but was named in the 21-man squad. The Roosters are aiming to become the first team since Brisbane in 1992-93 to claim back-to-back titles. The Raiders are the surprise packets and the sentimental favourites. Their biggest names are barnstorming front-rower Josh Papalii, cunning hooker Josh Hodgson, and English countryman John Bateman. Hodgson and Bateman have missed training sessions due to illness, while Joey Leilua will take a dodgy calf into the game. The Raiders are in their first decider in 25 years.

Key: It's the slick attacking machine that is the Roosters against the defensively gritty stonewall that is the Raiders, and whoever can impose their style for the longest that is likely to decide the outcome.

Tip: Roosters

NRLW: Brisbane Broncos v St George Illawarra Dragons at ANZ Stadium, 4.05pm

Head to head: Broncos 1, Dragons 1

Last clash: Round 1, 2019 - Broncos 14 bt Dragons 4 at Bankwest Stadium

Brisbane aim to go back to back in the first two years of the NRLW competition after beating the Roosters in last year's decider. On Sunday they come up against a Dragons side that has four of their premiership winners in it, after they all made a move down to Wollongong this season alongside suspended star Teulia Fotu-Moala. The Broncos will go in as favourites after losing just one game in the last two years, but the Dragons have Dally M player of the year Jessica Sergis in their side.

Key: Brittany Brealey was Dally M player of the year last year at Brisbane but was one of the stars to head to the Dragons in 2019. Is a star out of dummy half and defensively sound for St George Illawarra.

Tip: Broncos

State championship: Newtown Jets v Burleigh Bears at ANZ Stadium, 1.35pm

Head to head: None

Last clash: None

Twenty one players with NRL experience will battle it out for what will be the sixth state championship fought between the respective winners of the reserve grade competitions in NSW and Queensland. The sunshine state claimed the first two victories, but NSW teams have since won three in a row. Led by Cronulla players Ronaldo Mulitalo, Blayke Brailey and Jayson Bukuya, the Jets enter the clash fresh from a dramatic extra-time grand final in their state grand final. The Bears match their rivals in NRL experience with Anthony Don, Jack Buchanan and Blake Leary.

Key: Jets lock Billy Magoulias showed why he is considered a star of the future with 182 metres, 56 post-contact metres, 56 tackles, and the game-winning chip kick in last week's grand final win.

Tip: Jets

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